“Customers are a pain. That person is so difficult to serve. I wish we didn’t have to deal with customers.”
Customer service is a business subject that is often covered time and time again but it is not until you deal with real customers and you’ve got your business up and running that you realise how much of an impact they have on your business. Without customers, you would have no business - unless you magically make money from thin air.
Have you experienced the pain of that special customer that we strive to please and exceed their expectations but nothing seems to work? They are never happy and aren’t afraid to let you know. They steal your time and energy until you have none left to give. What would you do in this situation? And is the customer always right, when you know they are deadest wrong?
In my opinion, the product or service you offer is often not targeted to every single person. You have your “ideal customers.” They are the ones that will bring in the most profit with the least amount of energy and resources. These are the customers you should be targeting in your marketing, branding and service.
As your business grows, you will begin to have the liberty of streamlining your products to suit your target market. For example, we used to create custom fancy cupcakes that used to take our bakers 3 times longer to produce than a regular cupcake. At the start up phase of our business, we were looking to survive and pay bills so we took on board any and every customer. As we approached a comfortable stage where we were able to cover expenses easily, we started to revisit our products and remove the items that were time consuming or attracting the customers we weren't targeting.
When we initially introduced this strategy, some customers didn't return, but most were happy to choose something off the shelf. Essentially, we started ‘choosing’ who our customers were and we discouraged difficult customers to do business with us. It was also interesting to note that Pareto’s 80/20 principle rang true for us. We started to see the trend that 80% of our revenue was coming from 20% of our loyal customers.
Within a few short months we saw how dramatically this strategy boosted our bottom line and our efficiency levels shot through the roof. We had less customer complaints and we started to create a fan base because we provided consistency, quality and were meeting or exceeding their expectations.
So to answer the question: Yes, the customer is always right if they are the customer you are targeting.